We present the case of a man exhibiting a clinical phenotype of behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD). The man had developed psychiatric disturbances with verbal aggressiveness over a few months, followed by cognitive and frontal behavioral disorders, fulfilling the clinical criteria for bvFTD. Atrophy and hypometabolism in frontotemporal regions were consistent with the diagnosis. However, serum-screening exams for syphilis infection were positive, and CSF analysis, despite a negative Venereal Disease Research Laboratory Test, suggested the diagnosis of neurosyphilis. After specific antibiotic therapy, the man's behavioral abnormalities and cognitive deficits notably improved, confirming neurosyphilis as the cause of the clinical phenotype. The cognitive deficits completely recovered 1 year post therapy and remained stable for 2 years. After similar to 21/2 years from the first treatment, the man's behavioral disorders mildly worsened, at which time we re-evaluated him. His cognition was stable, and a positive Venereal Disease Research Laboratory Test confirmed the diagnosis of neurosyphilis. With this case, we demonstrated that in some instances, neurosyphilis can mimic frontotemporal dementia. As a cause of treatable dementia, it should be considered in the differential diagnosis of bvFTD, particularly when psychiatric symptoms and a rapid cognitive decline are noted, even in the presence of brain atrophy and/or hypometabolism.

Neurosyphilis Mimicking Behavioral Variant of Frontotemporal Dementia in a 59-Year-Old Man / P. Caroppo, C. Villa, A. Del Sole, G. Bernardi, S. Carradori, P. Tiraboschi, G. Giaccone, S. Prioni. - In: COGNITIVE AND BEHAVIORAL NEUROLOGY. - ISSN 1543-3633. - 35:2(2022), pp. 140-146. [10.1097/WNN.0000000000000299]

Neurosyphilis Mimicking Behavioral Variant of Frontotemporal Dementia in a 59-Year-Old Man

C. Villa
Secondo
;
A. Del Sole;
2022

Abstract

We present the case of a man exhibiting a clinical phenotype of behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD). The man had developed psychiatric disturbances with verbal aggressiveness over a few months, followed by cognitive and frontal behavioral disorders, fulfilling the clinical criteria for bvFTD. Atrophy and hypometabolism in frontotemporal regions were consistent with the diagnosis. However, serum-screening exams for syphilis infection were positive, and CSF analysis, despite a negative Venereal Disease Research Laboratory Test, suggested the diagnosis of neurosyphilis. After specific antibiotic therapy, the man's behavioral abnormalities and cognitive deficits notably improved, confirming neurosyphilis as the cause of the clinical phenotype. The cognitive deficits completely recovered 1 year post therapy and remained stable for 2 years. After similar to 21/2 years from the first treatment, the man's behavioral disorders mildly worsened, at which time we re-evaluated him. His cognition was stable, and a positive Venereal Disease Research Laboratory Test confirmed the diagnosis of neurosyphilis. With this case, we demonstrated that in some instances, neurosyphilis can mimic frontotemporal dementia. As a cause of treatable dementia, it should be considered in the differential diagnosis of bvFTD, particularly when psychiatric symptoms and a rapid cognitive decline are noted, even in the presence of brain atrophy and/or hypometabolism.
bvFTD; frontotemporal dementia; dementia; neurosyphilis; syphilis; Atrophy; Humans; Male; Cognition Disorders; Frontotemporal Dementia; Neurosyphilis; Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Settore MED/36 - Diagnostica per Immagini e Radioterapia
Settore MED/26 - Neurologia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/930974
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